Back from four days cruising the countryside for the ideal house to move out of the big city before my man goes crazy... Transitions turn us both into wrecks, but we adapt quickly to changes. We're already making plans - litteraly - for the number one house on our shortlist.
Visited 14 houses, all very different and interesting, displaying the top three further down, with ambiance drawings. You former city guys who've moved to the country or those wanting to know what you can buy in central France for the price of a Jaguar or a BMW - or a thirf of our flat in the city - might find it interesting. Those interested in knowing if a disturbed guy fares better in cities or country could find elements in it too.
General considerations first:
-After a few days, you do breathe better in the country, litteraly.
-Was born and raised in small country towns and villages, and was a disturbed kid all along; so I had huge worries about going crazy again far from a lot of normal, random people like in the city... Then I remembered I did my worst things when moving to the city on my own and I've changed a lot since and the silent, cool nights we've just spent reassured me about that "fear of being far from the hive". That being said, I love the invisibility you can get in big cities and feel more vulnerable in the country. Like there's a searchlight pointing right at you... Then again, I remember that from all the people I know, I'm probably the only one who has attacked others... It cooled down that insecurity attack which 'told' me to buy a big hunting knife at the local weapon store
(I still could join the local hunters society in case of another panick attack, shooting at "things" is a good physical therapy.
-Local restaurants are quite poor, but one was owned by a quite 'fairy' guy who seem to have become a popular local attraction... Although I'm nothing like 'visibly gay', it's reassuring to see that such things are now commonplace even in 'remote' places... The guy was making a whole show, complete with bitchy miniature dog and a quite spectacular Black boyfriend. ( he was formerly dating a transgender Asian guy). Incredible how things change... A good thing average people are better than me.
This confirmed my little theory about such "girly/extrovert" behavior as being an efficient unconscious defence mecanism for those of us who have no problem accepting their sexual orientation but live in mainly straight environments. Bottom line: it sends a clear message prior to any potential aggressivity, "I'm just funny and non-threatening, attacking me would be like attacking a girl"...
I still think it's a shame and fight it with all my life, because our natural boyish/manly ways shouldn't be forbidden to those of us who don't feel like a girl at all... Still, most men just laugh at girly, openly gay males and they hate us "stealth" ones, they think we've got something to hide and go sneaky... (That Matthew Sheppard atrocity left deep marks on my young mind, I remember thinking: "that's what happens when you go the kind way, maybe I was right to want to hurt them all along
..." Unfortunate line of thoughts, I understand it now. (just sayin' )
Sooo... Stars seem aligned, worry-making mind at rest, extatic and over-excited boyfriend and...cool houses.
Practical house wit a panoramic view over a scenic valley, at the mouth of a popular river gorge. Beach not five minutes down the slope, overlook-style terrace, ideal for skywatching. Made me inquire about telescopes prices and I found out that I could afford something that would enable me to see Saturn's ring, my current obession... Surprisingly, the most expensive in our top three. ( That's relative, all those properties are really cheap, even if they all need work to suit our needs, or is it 'just' desires?
) Currently owned by a Dutch family, with Indonesian blood judging by the pics on the walls.
On the downsides, it's the most remote from shops and facilities, even for country's standards.
Impressive 19th century bourgeois country house. 250 m² without counting impressive attics and barn. In a surprising good shape, no structural problems and with all the crazy decorating fixtures in exceptional state; which is very rare, believe me; that's my job. And you should see the woodworks and four-levels staircase... We can afford it but maintaining it and upgrading it to today's standards would be a huge task and my man wants to work less.
Bitter-sweet anecdote: a close friend told us this one was not for us. I sneakingly said: "too good for us?" and he awkwardly backed to "no, too big..."
Architecture geek detail: I consider 19th century architecture to be what it is: vulgar and fake and pretentious. BUT, it is awesome craftsmanship and inventive care for little luxuries of a truly decadent lifestyle. Owning a (big) slice of that would have pleased me, but I'm too scared of having to climb on that roof and I'd hate to have to deal with the "upscale" guests a B&B in such a house would bring us. I hate too clean and successfull people, they give me murderous ideas. A good thing my man's dream came true with the winning house and he listened to his friend's advice.
WINNER AND PROBABLE FUTURE HOME:
"The island", litteraly
A 2000 m² island with private stone bridge, old mill-turned into-riverside café-then private retreat on a scenic but quiet river (same as third place house ). You can be sure I'll start kayak as soon as we move in. Just under a stone bridge that was commisioned by Napoleon III's brother-in-law AND an Eiffel - for real!- railway viaduc. A small train rides it four times a day... The river flows between forested hills and rock formations, it's one of the cleanest in France and has a lot of historic dams, hence very low flood risk.
It's peaceful, fresh - and it was above 30° when we visited and leaves plenty of room for upgrades. Would make an exceptional B&B / renting units in the summer...
Has lots of huge trees all around, gigantic bamboos and I saw a baby snake swimming...
A few vacations houses nearby, direct neighbor is a retired cop, it has potential good and bad sides but we'll go friendly. My man's naturaly good at human contact and the few he can't handle, I usually can. Like: "Robot mode on. Talk to the lame prick and switch back to real you when he's gone
" Not sayin' that neighbor could be a prick, just imagining the worse to be more releaved when it turns out OK. Worries-factory is never really closed.
General mentality observations: people are afraid of living nearby a river, you wouldn't believe what we've heard and I'm still waiting for my anxious parents' feedback. (now you know where the "worries fabric" started, they are masters at being loving and caring but nontheless sending confusing messages that are not helping... That was quite gratuitious but I've realised it very lately so I got to write it down somewhere. Is there a " aggressive-ironic bad son" smiley
So yeah, should be OK for us and a quite fast transition to new and better things. Hope it gives you ideas to move somewhere cool and cheap and quiet, in places with "included spirit".